January Climate Review and February Preview

January of 2015 was a generally warm and dry month across the area, especially across south central Colorado which saw well above average temperatures and generally below normal precipitation for the month as a whole. Portions of eastern Colorado started out January cool and unsettled with a year ending arctic blast, but quickly warmed and dried after the first few days of the month. A few minor arctic intrusions brought brief cool downs and some beneficial precipitation and snowfall to eastern Colorado throughout the middle of the month, especially the Pikes Peak region and portions of the southeast plains, before well above normal and record warmth was again experienced across the area through the later days of the month.  Some more beneficial snowfall was recorded across the mountains and high mountain valleys over the last few days of the month, along with scattered rain and snow showers across the southeast plains. The following graphics indicate preliminary departures from normal for both temperatures and precipitation across the state over the past month.

The preliminary average temperature in Colorado Springs throughout the month of January is 32.8 degrees, which is 2.3 degrees above normal. Colorado Springs recorded 0.87 inches of precipitation in January. This is 0.55 inches above normal and makes January of 2015 the 4th wettest January on record in Colorado Springs, though still well below the 1.17 inches of precipitation recorded in January of 1987. Colorado Springs also recorded 13.5 inches of snow in January. This is 7.9 inches above normal and makes January of 2015 the 4th snowiest January on record in Colorado Springs. This, however, remains well below the 28.7 inches of snow recorded in 1987, but just below the 14.6 inches recorded in January of 2001 and the 13.6 inches of snow recorded just last year (January 2014). 

The preliminary average temperature in Pueblo throughout the month of January is 33.5 degrees, which is 3.0 degrees above normal.  Pueblo recorded 0.25 inches of precipitation and 4.5 inches of snow in January, which is 0.10 inches and 2.0 inches below normal, respectively.  

The preliminary average temperature in Alamosa throughout the month of January is 22.6 degrees. This is 6.3 degrees above normal and makes January of 2015 the 13th warmest January on record in Alamosa. This, however, remains well behind the warmest January average temperature of 26.4 degrees recorded in 2003.  Alamosa recorded 0.33 inches of precipitation and 3.3 inches of snow throughout January, which is 0.07 inches above normal and 0.7 inches below normal, respectively.  

Looking ahead into February, in Colorado Springs, the average high and low temperatures of 43 degrees and 18 degrees on February 1st, warm to 48 degrees and 22 degrees, respectively, by the end of the month, with an average monthly temperature of 32.1 degrees. Colorado Springs averages 0.34 inches of precipitation and 4.9 inches of snow in February.  Of note, February on average, is tied with December as the second driest month of the year in Colorado Springs.

In Pueblo, the average high and low temperatures of 48 degrees and 15 degrees on February 1st, warm to 55 degrees and 21 degrees, respectively, by the end of the month with an average monthly temperature of 33.9 degrees. Pueblo averages 0.30 inches of precipitation and 3.8 inches of snow in February.  Of note,  February on average, is the driest month of the year in Pueblo.

In Alamosa, the average high and low temperatures of 36 degrees and 1 degree on February 1st, warm to 45 degrees and 12 degrees, respectively, by the end of the month, with an average monthly temperature of 22.8 degrees. Alamosa averages 0.26 inches of precipitation and 3.8 inches of snow in February.   Of note, February on average, is tied with January as the driest month of the year in Alamosa.

Below is the Climate Prediction Center's temperature and precipitation outlook for February, which gives a slight nod to warmer than normal temperatures across the area, save equal chances of above, below and near normal temperatures across extreme southeast Colorado. As for precipitation, the outlook gives equal chances of above, below and near normal precipitation across the area through the month of February.   




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